“Oh, be careful little mouth what you say!”
Wise Words from the Best Book
“And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”
School starts next week and this is the last lesson in our summer fruity series about the Fruit of the Spirit. This last fruit is self-control. It’s not last in importance, just last on the list.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
What Granny Vee learned from this lesson is that the word “self-control” means in the Greek “true mastery from within”.
Do you want your life to be a masterpiece for God’s glory?
Christians have a new spirit and a new heart within us. The Holy Spirit lives within us. For Christians, self-control is really Spirit-led! Self-control comes from yielding to the control of the Holy Spirit within us, letting Jesus be our Master, our teacher, our guide, and our God.
There is self-control that comes from your will and the mind also. We learn to control ourselves often for fear of consequences. There is punishment if we don’t control ourselves. If you misbehave and throw a tantrum at home, you might be sent to your room without dessert. So you learn to control your emotions out of fear of punishment. That’s a good thing.
But Spirit-produced self-control is better! If we abide in God’s Presence, spending time in His “sunshine”, He grows in us a self-control that is better. It grows alongside the other fruits of peace and kindness and patience. We grow more in the Spirit and become stronger in our spirit. The Holy Spirit inside us is in charge over the part of us that wants to throw a tantrum.
The part of us that wants to throw a tantrum is called the “flesh” in the Bible. If the “flesh” is in charge, it does the wrong things because it only cares about feeling good right now. It doesn’t think about the future. It doesn’t think about others. It is selfish.
Your “flesh” may just want to eat candy all the time but your mind knows that is not good for you! So you also eat vegetables or your wise Mom makes you eat them.
Rules are set up so the “flesh” part of us doesn’t hurt ourselves and others. There are rules for this and rules for that. Because people have a very selfish side, rules are necessary. Without rules, society would not work well. Strong, mean people would take whatever they wanted from weaker persons. God calls this “lawlessness”.
Your school would be chaos if there were no rules. Some undisciplined kids would just run the hallways wildly and maybe even hurt other children. They’d steal your candy and lunch money. Actually these bad things do happen in some public schools. It’s so very sad.
PRAYER IN SCHOOLS
Fifty-some years ago in America, prayer to God was allowed in public schools and the schools were much more orderly. The Ten Commandments were taught so people knew properly how to live. But sadly, we allowed the bullies who don’t want to obey God to take prayer and His commandments out of school. We see the sad results of that bad decision today. Now many have no self-control whatsoever! Many now don’t know how to behave. They turned from their Creator-God, and set themselves up as their own gods and so they selfishly do whatever they like. There are many horror stories about awful things going on in the public schools today. Sometimes we hear these tragedies on the news.
But there is good news! You have the Holy Spirit inside and you can pray in school! No one can stop you from praying quietly. You can pray anywhere, anytime. You have the Holy Spirit and God can use your prayer to change things for the better wherever you are.
Please pray for peace in your school. Tell your friends about Jesus Christ. You can be a light in your school. You can also be a light for Jesus by acting and speaking as Jesus would.
“But no man can tame the tongue.”
James, who was the half-brother of Jesus Christ, taught us to be careful even in what you say. He observed that very few people can control their tongues. They say bad things. They talk badly about people behind their backs. They use crude, rude language and bad words. God says this is not right! But the Holy Spirit can help us control our tongues!
As Christians, we should ask Jesus to help us not have anything bad come out of our mouths. Maybe your mom has told you, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” That’s a good idea but we need the help of the Holy Spirit!
Don’t say stupid things about people. Don’t call them bad names. Don’t tell lies about another. Don’t curse at people. The Word of God tells us this is wrong.
Words are very important. Jesus taught that our words show us what our heart is like.
“… out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)
The Holy Spirit is producing fruit in our lives. The fruit of our lips should show that we have a loving Holy Spirit within us. Listen for His voice. He can help us NOT to use bad words. But DO speak kind words. Bless and do NOT curse. Be led by His Spirit to act Christ-like with self-control even when bad things happen. That’s the real TEST! Do you have self-control, kindness, and patience even when the situation is hard? You can ask Jesus to help you grow in self-control!
May the LORD shine His light and love through you in your school this year. Amen.
SUGGESTED SONGS: “The Problem Song”; “Oh, Be Careful Little…”.
Monkeys show the proverbial
“see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”.